It all started with a box of salt cod I bought on a whim on Friday. By 8:00 on Saturday night we had a festive crew nibbling on fried salt cod fritters with skordalia (kind of like super-garlicky mashed potatoes beaten with olive oil), vinaigrey beet salad, charred lamb chops and the pungent yogurt dip called tzatziki.
I'm talking run-of-the-mill brown buttons. Try slicing them thinly and tossing them with shaved celery and garlicky vinaigrette. Or sautéing quartered criminis in olive oil with minced shallots and rosemary and mounding them on top of a sautéed chicken paillard (a thinly pounded chicken breast). Or try this recipe for Merede's Mushroom "Farrotto" with Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallots.
Savor one thing at each meal this week. It could be the sharp, lemony aroma of cilantro in a salsa. It might be the way a tannic red wine grips you by the back of the throat. Whatever it is you choose to notice, I promise it will take zero extra time out of your day. Yet it will have a profound impact on how you feel walking away from that meal.
This sounds radical, I know. But the truth is, most of us eat too much, albeit unwittingly. So for the next week, if you usually eat a bagel in the morning, bag half for the next day. If you eat a tuna sandwich for lunch, split it with a friend instead. And enjoy the full-sized flavor or these mini spiced lamb "sliders."
Stand on one foot while tossing a salad, experiment with a new spice, try a new preparation of an old stand-by. Sometimes we get so--well, let's call a spade a spade--bored with the same-old routine in the kitchen that we end up barreling mindlessly through a meal. Break out of the humdrum with this pomegranate-glazed cornish hen.